<< All Firm News
December 14, 2020

Former New York Magistrate Judge James Orenstein Joins ZwillGen

James Orenstein Brings Unique and Sought-After Experience to Assist Technology Companies Facing Unprecedented Privacy and Transparency Challenges

ZwillGen has hired James Orenstein, former United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York, as a Senior Legal Director to work on technology and surveillance litigation.

During his time in the Eastern District of New York, Orenstein ruled on a number of significant cases where privacy and law enforcement interests collided. Notably, Orenstein wrote the first federal published decision on location tracking in 2005 and was the first jurist to write an opinion that correctly anticipated the Supreme Court’s holding in Carpenter v. United States. While on the bench, he also oversaw all pretrial litigation in a multi-billion class action antitrust suit involving interchange payment card fees, and issued a high-profile opinion limiting the Government’s power under the All Writs Act.

“We’re incredibly excited to have Judge Orenstein join our team at a time when the privacy and accountability issues facing technology companies are more urgent than ever. He’s a true pioneer in this space and will bring his experience as a Judge, litigator, and professor to the legal challenges facing our technology clients. Judge Orenstein’s expertise provides a unique perspective to assist our clients facing the difficult and unprecedented legal and policy challenges ahead.” 

—Marc Zwillinger, Founder and Managing Member

Orenstein has extensive experience as a jurist, federal prosecutor, and private practice litigator. He served as Magistrate Judge for 16 years and spent over a decade as federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York, including serving on the prosecution team in the Oklahoma City bombings trials, as a member of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and as an Associate Deputy Attorney General. Prior to his appointment to the bench in 2004, Orenstein was a partner in the New York City office of Baker & Hostetler. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the New York University School of Law. He is also an adjunct professor at the New York University School of Law.

“In my 16 years on the federal bench, I saw first-hand how critically important it was for the judiciary to focus on the complex privacy and security issues arising from technological advances. I also saw how ZwillGen’s team of talented lawyers was at the forefront of litigating those issues. The firm’s leadership in this field makes it a perfect fit for me as I return to private practice. I am thrilled to continue to work on these pressing legal issues and help technology companies navigate the shifting legal and policy landscape.” 

—James Orenstein

Orenstein will lead development of the Firm’s neutrals practice, which will focus on evaluation, monitorships, settlement conference, and binding arbitration. 

ZwillGen is based in Washington, D.C., New York City, and San Francisco, and represents many of the biggest names in tech including Airbnb, Asana, Bose, Drizly, Eventbrite, FanDuel, DoorDash, NBCUniversal, Postmates, Slack, Twitch, and Verizon Media among other prominent Internet, media companies, and social networking sites. ZwillGen has been ranked in Chambers USA in Privacy and Data Security for ten consecutive years. Additionally, ZwillGen was recognized nationally in the 2020 Law360 Glass Ceiling Report for its leading percentage of female attorneys and partners and it has joined the inaugural class of the Mansfield Rule for Midsized Law Firms to boost diversity in the legal community.